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Plans for other children during labor/birth/immediate postpartum time?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm curious what other mamas are planning to do with their older kiddos during labor, birth, and the first few days for those who will be staying in the hospital after the birth.  

 

As of right now, I'm planning on giving birth at the hospital and making arrangements for my older 4 kids through the 2 day hospital stay following her birth. The dynamics of this birth are a little different this time around, because previously my ex-laws were very instrumental in caring for the older kids.  My mom is flaky at best when it comes to depending on her to be a critical part of a plan, and his mom is too old to to care for all 4 kids for more than a few hours at a time. My tentative plan as of this moment, is my older two girls stay with his mom (she doesn't have to lift them, change them, etc.) and I'm hoping the younger two can stay with my ex's parents and 2 aunts who all live together. The other option would be for all the kids to stay home, and possibly get Eric's older daughter to come out and stay at the house with the kids, with Eric popping in and out.  I just hate to have his daughter spending so much time watching the kids, like that is why we had her out, because it wouldn't be. Yet another option would be having their dad stay with them at our house-he rents a room from a friend, and there's no room for kids-but he works full time, so he wouldn't even be available during the day.  In the end, it will probably end up being a hybrid plan of the kids staying at home, with people coming to care for them at different times. 

 

While logic would say Eric should be at home with the kids while I'm in the hospital, this is only his second child, and his daughter is 23, so it's been awhile.  This baby is a big deal for him, and he's really excited and wanting to be involved with every moment, so I want him to be there with the baby as much as possible-if we can work it out.

 

I've also thought about coming home asap after she's born, but frankly, once I'm home, I'll be juggling 5 kids.  As selfish as it might sound, I want the couple days of being in the hospital and not worrying about anyone but the baby and myself.

 

ETA: I plan to have my two older girls at the hospital for the birth, and his daughter if she's in town for it, so I will also need to have at least one adult there to take care of the girls incase there's an emergency and they need to leave the room, and just to see to their needs while Eric is seeing to mine.

post #2 of 13

this is a good question. i don't know what my answer is yet. our son is older (he'll be 17 by the time the twins come) but he still needs like, a human around who can grocery shop for him and provide companionship. i hope either my MIL will stay at our house with him or his dad will come stay at our house with him. we also have dogs, cats and chickens so it's not like we can send him to a friend's house. we need someone to actually stay at our house at take care of the whole ecosystem -- which is a lot more complicated than the care and feeding of a near-adult child. 

 

i just have to have faith it will work out ok. i also kind of want some time at the hospital to just feel better and adjust to the babies before going back to the full-blown chaos of our motley crew, and i would prefer for my spouse to be there. i am concerned about the adjustment of having two infants. crap.gif

post #3 of 13

thefreckledmama - If you did hospital discharge right away, would your DH be able to have some time off from work - even a week?  Even if you don't, it sounds like you have some good alternative plans.  And I know a lot of people are more positive about being in the hospital for a bit than I would be, so I am not trying to project my own feelings into your situation!  :)

 

AFM, I have NO IDEA what I will be doing with my kids during labor.  I have options.  My mom lives with us, but at this point, I see her more supporting during the birth than anything else.  If labor was precipitous, technically she could mind the kids.  If not, my in-laws are GREAT about coming to get the kids and keeping them until everything is done and dusted.  They did it last time with my precipitous labor without any complaint, despite their early-70s age bracket.

 

I know third labors can be a bit dicey in terms of length (some stay shorter and some get weirdly long) so if I am blessed with another short labor, I think I might like to try having at least my older DD there (she's really supportive in tough situations) and I think she'd enjoy being there.  We watched a TON of YouTube birth videos last go-round and she wanted to stay, but I just couldn't focus with her there.  I know I won't be able to labor with DD2 this time because of her clingy personality, so I am thinking I just need to send them both away rather than divide them.  DD2 will be really upset if her older sister is allowed to stay and she is taken away.

 

Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness form of writing here...this is the first time I've "vocalized" this to anyone.

post #4 of 13
We have had always had our older kids at the birth of their siblings. They are really grounding for me. We have always had a adult there to help out if need be. This time it may be just dh and the kids. Maybe a friend.
post #5 of 13

These scenarios make me realize that it is not super hard the second time around...since there mostly only needs to be a plan in place for one other child.  I asked the midwife about having my three year old attend the birth of our second (and last) and she said that it has a lot to do with the child.  She said that she might be bored if the labor is long.  So our plan during the birth is to have my sister watch/entertain my daughter, Jane, in the common area of the birthing center, and giving her the freedom to come in if she pleases.  But after the baby is born, we have a 12 hour max. stay, so depending on the time of day, my daughter will likely go to our house with my sister.  The first few days will be tricky, because our first was a huge adjustment, with an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie and many trips to the lactation consultants office.  I want my time with the baby, but don't want to neglect my daughter, as she has been our world for the past three years.  Is there a good balance?  

post #6 of 13

At this point, I plan to have a friend present who can be primary care for DS (4) during labor/homebirth. If a transfer becomes necessary, she can stay home with him, or bring him to her place, or to my dad, or keep him until my dad comes to get him, etc.  If that doesn't work out (she can't make it), then I'll have a backup friend who can take him but may not be comfortable staying present for a homebirth scenario.  Third case, he'll go to my dad's once labor starts. 

 

If I end up switching to planned hospital birth down the road, I'll have a plan with my dad to have DS go there when we head to the hospital, either with us dropping him off or my dad coming to our house to be with him or bring him to his house.  I feel like all avenues have coverage at this point.  I'm hopeful that DS can be present for the home birth of his sibling; but I am also fully aware that it may not be possible for many reasons.  It's going to be up to him whether or not he's comfortable at the time.  Best case? He's just waking up for the day and birth is close so he's rested and awake and in a good headspace for the big event. 

post #7 of 13

I really don't know, and it's starting to concern me...

 

My husband's in the military, and we were posted last summer. Not only are we an 18 hour drive from our families and friends "back home", but we also have no friends here yet. Last time, my mom was able to take time off work and fly up to stay with us for a couple of weeks. She kept DS entertained during everything and was there in case we might have needed to transfer to the hospital. Unfortunately, this time she'll be in China! My dad has taken an administrator position in a school over there this school year and they intend to go back for next school year, so she'll be leaving at the end of August. greensad.gif I'm not close with my mother-in-law, and honestly, she wouldn't be able to afford to fly up and stay with us anyway. My sister would do it if she could, but she started a new job last fall, too, and only gets two weeks off all year.

 

I really don't know what we'll do! If all goes well, DH will just look after them and I'll be fine on my own with the midwife/midwives. But I'm not comfortable without a back-up plan and, ideally, I'd like him with me for support and to be a go-fer for the midwives if they need anything.

 

Ugh!

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

My plan is to stay at the hospital for the full two days after the birth that I'm allowed-since once I go home it will be a full house, and I really want that little bit of downtime to focus primarily on the baby. It will be interesting to see what happens as far as what kind of time Eric will have available to stay home around the birth.  He currently works for himself, but is looking into other things, so we shall see.  

post #9 of 13

We still need to discuss it, but I'm hoping my mom and dad are open to driving up while I'm in labor and watching the girls like they did during dd2's birth.  MIL, who lives 10 minutes away isn't very reliable (we couldn't even get her to bring us dinner while we had to stay an extra day in the hospital last time) :(   I'm hoping to only spend a day at the hospital.  That was our plan last time, but dd2 ended up in the nicu for 3 days.

post #10 of 13

My plan is to call everyone (hubby, mom, doula) when I go into labour so everyone can start getting ready for their appointed tasks. If it's during the day my doula will come here, get in my car and take me to hospital where hubby will meet us and my mom works so passing my daughter will be easiest in that scenario. If it's night or on the weekend, my mom will meet us at the hospital. She lives 20 minutes from there and we live an hour away so her getting to the hospital shouldn't be too hard for her. I plan on packing a bag of clothes and giving it to my mom weeks before EDD so she has stuff for my DD and i'm not scrambling to get her stuff ready. I am hoping DD is potty learned by then but if not I'll buy a box of sposies  to keep at my moms. I feel like I have it well sorted in my head but talking about it makes it sound confusing! haha 

 

If for some reason DD ends up being at the birth, I think she will be okay. She LOVES watching birth videos, LOVES babies, and can be very quiet and observant. Would it be ideal? Not at this point, but it wouldn't be the worst thing either.

post #11 of 13

Glad to see this thread. I wanted to post about labor concerns but in reality, the major concern is my DD. She's going to be almost 4yo by Sept. and *gasp* has never had a sleepover, has never been the kid you "drop off", has never spent much time at all with anyone else but myself and DH. My sisters have babysat a few times, but not often in ANY sense of the word.

 

At this point, I am at a total loss as to what to do! I am pretty sure due to the fiances that we wont have a home birth or a birthing center stay and I have to account for a few days in the dreaded hospital. I have so much anxiety about spending even ONE night away from DD. We still cosleep. No one besides myself has ever put her to sleep even, so there is that. Can you tell I'm worried? I want to have DD with us as much as possible but the hospital is a crappy place for a 4yo. I'm really worried about the policies of them allowing a child to room in as well. 

 

I am having lunch with my sister soon. I am going to shower her with gifts to ease her into the fact that she's the one and only person I can depend on! My DHs family is not dependable, and quite frankly, my DD doesn't know them very well. My other sister is 300 miles north and has a 5yo who will come with her if I have her stay-- it all seems very chaotic. Plus, she's going through a breakup right now. My parents are deceased and we really have no one else. It's so hard. 

 

mrsmrs-- I feel for you with twins. I hope you can work something out!

Bromach-- I'm in a similar situation...

 

Has anyone hired a post partum doula? I am considering this for the aftercare but not sure I'll need it. Any thoughts for me on how this all works? 

post #12 of 13

tillymonster - For your daughter's anxiety, can you begin early to play up the "fun adventure" she's going to be having staying with someone else? Get her something special that she'll only get to sleep with for that night(s) she's away, special food treats, etc. If she's excited about the new baby you can use that too as incentive.

I dunno, I'm not a parent yet, but I've seen that used with small kids successfully in the past. i.e. don't surprise them and make it fun rather than scary.

post #13 of 13

tillymonster, what about doing some practice runs for overnights this summer? Or having your sister over to do bedtime routine a few times a month, or something? Agree w/katalopolis about the "special" thing that's only for when you're apart.  Our DS was 4 in January, and had his first sleepover away from both of us that month, with my dad and stepmom. It went really well, and we were pleased that it was so simple.  Our DS is really attached though independent with many things, but also really secure with this set of grandparents (he spends 2-3 workdays a month with them, usually). 

 

As far as a postpartum doula, I haven't used one but have served as one. I think it's really helpful in families with young children as the parents adjust and bond to the new LO.  Any new parents could use help with household tasks like groceries, cleanup, meal prep, laundry, etc, and if you don't have a friend or family member(s) that are on deck to help, hiring a doula may prove invaluable to you (if it's in your budget to do so).  Some things to discuss with a postpartum doula are the scope of their care.  Some just do support for mom/baby only, doing teaching and support surrounding breastfeeding, baby care, mom's recovery and that type of stuff.  Others are more full-spectrum in terms of housework, errands, meal prep, sibling help. 

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